Environmental Restoration = Economic Restoration
Investing in the coast’s wetlands will create opportunities for exports and jobs. Firms in the Gulf Coast can be the new global experts on how people live and work with water, whether it be the Rhine, the Mississippi River, or coastal Indonesia.
Across the world, coastal erosion and sea level rise threaten to wash away communities. Major ecosystem restoration projects will be necessary to rebuild a sustainable, working coast for current and future generations.
For example, oyster reefs are essential to many ecosystems, providing water filtration, reef structure that acts as nursery for fish species, and shore protection from storms. Yet 85% of oyster reefs have been lost globally and less than 50% of remaining reefs are in good condition.
This loss of reefs can be a market opportunity for U.S. firms that gain expertise in oyster reef restoration and other ecosystem restoration activities — knowledge that could readily be gained by leading projects in the United States.